Around 95,000 Afghan refugees could be settled around the U.S., including in Ohio, following President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Republicans have largely been vocal about fears over the Biden administration’s sloppy vetting process — though some in the GOP, including current Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R), are accepting refugees by the hundreds and thousands. Former Rep. Jim Renacci (R), who is looking to challenge DeWine for the governorship in 2022, said DeWine’s refugee stance is not a popular position among Republicans on the campaign trail.
“What I’m hearing from people on the ground is they want us to clean our own house first, get our own economy booming before we start bringing additional people in,” Renacci told Breitbart News during a press conference on Thursday. “That’s a serious issue, and many Republicans are not happy with some of the stances Governor DeWine is taking, like this one, saying that he’s going to be bringing in refugees when we have so many issues.”
According to the Statehouse News Bureau, DeWine said the state has been “keeping in touch with the agencies that provide aid to refugees.”
“These are individuals who have helped us, who have taken risks to help the United States of America and we should welcome them to this country, and we certainly welcome them to Ohio,” DeWine said.
Renacci and his advisers said they are hopeful DeWine’s continued departures from GOP priorities could bode well for the former congressman’s campaign.
“One of the funny things about this governor is that he’s actually more popular with Democrats — with Biden supporters than he is with Trump supporters,” said Brad Parscale, who previously worked as a senior adviser for former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign. “If you’re a sitting Republican governor, that’s a problem.”
Parscale, who is advising Renacci’s 2022 run, said DeWine has been polling poorly with GOP voters, according to internal estimates.
“He will need to scramble to regain GOP voters,” he said.
Renacci, who previously ran for governor in the state in 2017 and later dropped out to run for U.S. Senate, is the only “America First” candidate in the Ohio governor race so far, Parscale said.
Moving forward, Renacci intends to align himself with the priorities of more successful GOP governors like Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Greg Abbott (R-TX), in the hopes of boosting the Buckeye State’s economy and overall potential following reported abuses of power by DeWine during the pandemic.